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Full text of "Verdict On India"

145

" I had always understood/ we continue, 'that until the invention
of insulin, diabetes — particularly in the case of persons under
twenty — was incurable and generally fatal. Is not that the case ?*
4 Well, perhaps. . /
•Butw/i"*it ?*
Here the superintendent probably intervenes, saying that they
must admit that Ayurveda is not * perhaps9 very effective in
cases such as diabetes, and that *if the patient does not respond*
to the treatment, they would * probably5 advise him to cgo else-
where.'
It needs no extensive knowledge of medicine to suggest that
when they had finished with him he would probably have sunk
into the diabetic coma from which there is no awakening. How-
ever, what is the use ?
Here is the record of a conversation I had with two Ayurvedic
experts on the subject of syphilis. (This was before I had been
presented with the cup of tea.)
*Oh, we have wonderful cures for syphilis. Many cures. And
toe use arsenic, too.*
4 But I thought you didn't give injections/
b We don't.     We give it orally.'
'Arsenic?    Orally?'
•Yes.   Neosalvarsan.    In VQTy small doses, of course,*
" And how long does it take to effect a complete cure ? *
"Two or three months/
I blinked at this extraordinary statement.
eTwo or three years \ corrected the elder doctor.
The discrepancy did not seem to worry the younger doctor.
4 In any case,' he said, 'we cure it/ And he proceeded to tell me
of the case of somebody^ servant who had come to the hospital
with secondary syphilis, whose blood three months later had given
a negative reaction to the Wasserman test.1 As if that — even if it
were true, which is improbable — was proof of a permanent cure I
I happen to have made a fairly close study of the ravages of this
1 Why the Aynrvedie doctors permit themselves to borrow an essentially Western
p rocess like the Wasserman methods of diagnosis, is a mystery. The fact remains,
they do.